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Digital Mindfulness

Guarding Hearts and Pixels: A Guide to Staying Safe in Digital Romance this Valentine’s Day

How can we prepare ourselves to be digitally-mindful and show our online connections care and attention in a safe, healthy way? This guide is tailored to help you put self-love and self-care first.

Valentine’s Day can remain fun and pressure-free, but there are times when our digital well-being can be challenged by people we interact with, online and offline. Innocent and friendly conversations can change to romantic or straight-up sexual. Let’s take a look at common red flags that might make you feel uncomfortable. It’s important to trust your gut–you have a right to exercise setting boundaries. 

Red Fag Actions

  • If someone is pushing for intimate conversations or actions too quickly, it may be a red flag. Healthy relationships develop at a comfortable pace.
  • Be wary of individuals who repeatedly ask for personal details, such as your home address, phone number, or financial information. This could indicate malicious intent.
  • Sending unwanted or extravagant gifts for Valentine’s Day can be a sign of grooming, especially if the person also declares deep love and commitment unusually early in the online interaction.
  • If someone is pressuring you to share explicit photos or engage in sexting despite your discomfort, the “ick” that you get from them is your gut telling you something is wrong.
  • Anyone who consistently ignores or dismisses your boundaries regarding intimate or romantic conversations is a walking red flag. Healthy relationships are built on mutual respect and consent.

Navigating Pressures Online

If someone is pressuring you to sext or send nudes, it can be a draining experience. We’re here to help with some tips on how to maintain your digital well-being. 


Remember, you have the right to feel safe and respected in any relationship, and pressure is not a part of a healthy relationship. If ever in doubt, seek guidance from trusted individuals or Crisis Text Line by texting “NOFILTR” to 741741.

Navigating Pressure

Establish boundaries: Be clear and assertive about what’s acceptable for you.

Prioritize safety: Block persistent pressure. Your well-being matters most.

Reach out: Talk to trusted ones for guidance and support.

Report unwanted behavior: Notify the platform with screenshots.

How to Set Boundaries

It can be difficult to set boundaries, whether it’s with someone you’ve known for a long time or a new crush. So we’ve created some communication thought-starters that might empower you to have these difficult conversations, no matter what stage of a relationship you’re in. 

  • “I love you but I’m not really comfortable with sharing those types of pictures. Please respect my decision.”
  • “I don’t want to. I want you to know that my decision is not about our relationship. I care deeply about you, and I hope you understand my need for personal boundaries.”
  • “I value where our relationship is now and I’m not comfortable sharing intimate pictures with anyone. To keep our relationship healthy, please don’t ask me again.”
  • “I’ve been thinking about it, and I’ve decided that sharing explicit photos isn’t something I want to do. Can we have a conversation about our boundaries?”
  • “I’m still getting to know you and I don’t think asking for nudes is appropriate. I’d appreciate it if we kept our conversations platonic.”
  • “No, I’d rather not send nudes. Instead of explicit photos or sexting, let’s explore other ways of connecting. Wanna watch your favorite movie instead?”

Sharing love mindfully

When building online relationships, we can use Valentine’s Day to deepen connections mindfully. Here are swoon-worthy alternatives to sexting and requesting nudes. 

  • Take the time to pen down your feelings in a heartfelt handwritten letter or through a carefully crafted digital message. Share what makes the person special to you and express your appreciation for their presence in your life.
  • Utilize digital tools and apps to create unique artwork or collages that represent your connection. Compile images, quotes, or drawings that capture the essence of your connection and share it as a thoughtful expression of love.
  • Curate personalized playlists of songs and videos that remind you of your connection. Share the playlist and explain why each is significant.
  • Organize a virtual experience, such as a shared online game night, movie streaming party, or a virtual cooking date. These activities allow you to connect in a fun and interactive way.

Let’s keep Valentine’s Day safe and fun by spotting red flags, setting boundaries and being creative with how we foster digital connection. Trust your instincts and seek guidance from trusted friends, family, or mentors if you need additional support. By incorporating these guidelines into your digital interactions, you can guard your heart and pixels while fostering positive and respectful online connections.

Need to talk?

Text NOFILTR to 741741 for immediate assistance.